Letter to the Editor—Divvy Bikes an asset to the city - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Letter to the Editor—Divvy Bikes an asset to the city

Photo courtesy of Alta Bicycle Share, Inc. and Divvy Bikes

The new Chicago-blue bikes are hitting the streets June 28, 2013.

The follow letter to the editor by Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) President MarySue Barrett was submitted to the Chicago Tribune in response to their May 29 article "Overtime fees, legal potholes dot city's bike-share program," and ran in the June 9, 2013 "Voice of the People" section of the paper:

Over the past few years, Chicago has invested heavily in improving its bicycling infrastructure. We’ve already experienced big benefits by making this transportation option available to more people: The share of Chicago commutes taken by bike has more than doubled since 2005, and our streets have become friendlier for all users. The city’s new Divvy bike share option, which opened for registration this week, will add to that progress.

The day Divvy registration opened, I signed off on an employer plan to cover the annual membership fees for Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) employees who want to use Divvy. Many staff members have told me they plan to replace expensive taxi rides and messenger services with quick, healthy, green bike trips across the Loop. They’re even excited about making these trips in suits! Since daytime trips typically will be within 30 minutes, no overtime fee will apply.

MPC is not alone in its enthusiasm. On the first day of registration, 700 individuals became founding Divvy members. Based on similar bike share programs across the country, we can expect thousands more to join.

Divvy will provide a useful complement to our road, transit and pedestrian network—and even encourage more people to use their own bikes to commute. Bike sharing will encourage transit use by providing a way for people to get to and from a train or bus station. In Paris and Barcelona, home to two of the world’s largest bike share systems, 40 percent of bike share trips are made in conjunction with transit.

I am confident that Divvy will offer an exciting new way to get around Chicago and look forward to Divvy’s opening day on June 28!

MarySue Barrett


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